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How to Set up a Boudoir Photoshoot

Boudoir Photography is a great way to capture sexy, sensual, classy images for women of all ages and all shapes and sizes. A woman doesn’t have to have a runway model body to be beautiful in photos.

As a boudoir photographer, it is your job to create images that will leave them feeling confident and proud when they see the final results.

Some women are extremely confident in front of a camera in such a vulnerable state. Others, not so much. It can be intimidating for some to “let loose” and relax without feeling like you are judging their every flaw.

Here are some tips to have a successful boudoir photo session that will produce images that both you and your client will be proud of.

Get To Know Them:

Communicate with your client prior to the session. Ask questions.

What do they like or dislike about their body? What do they consider their best assets? What are they comfortable with? (Some may want more subtle poses, others may want more sensual). What type of wardrobe are they comfortable with? Are they willing to show a little or show a lot?

Getting a feel for how they see themselves and what they are/aren’t comfortable with beforehand can help you better prepare for the big day. Because let’s be honest, the session can be just as uncomfortable for the photographer as it can be for the client.

Have them look through galleries of other boudoir sessions and show you samples of poses they are going for. This alone will tell you any boundaries they have, if any.

What are their hobbies? If the session is a gift for a significant other, what are their hobbies or interests? Incorporating props that represent their significant other is a great way to personalize the images.

Where To Take The Photos?

Boudoir sessions usually require a more intimate setting. This could be a bedroom, hotel room, or a great set-up studio. Try to use space that has good natural window lighting. Beds, couches, and chairs can give you a variety of ways to pose your client. You don’t need a huge space. It just needs to scream “bedroom”.


What should your client bring? It’s best if they bring a variety of things to choose from. Not only will this give you the ability to help them decide what flatters them most, but it will also allow you to have variety in the finished album.

Lingerie, thigh highs, oversized tee-shirts, heels, jewelry, jerseys, and button up shirts are just a few great options.

Hair and Make-up Artists

Give the option of having a professional hair and make-up artist on site. Having their hair and make-up professionally done beforehand can really boost their confidence.

Play Off Of Her Personality:

Communicating with your client prior to the session can help you get a feel for the type of personality she has. As with any photo, you don’t want to try to force (so to speak) a particular personality. Being shy and a little reserved can be just as sexy as being fun and outgoing!

Talk to her during the session. Not only will this release some tension in the room, but it will allow you to capture her more naturally in a playful way, rather than everything being so forced and posed.

Make her feel confident and reassured that she is beautiful! You don’t need to (and shouldn’t) be overly verbal about how she looks, that can actually make her feel more uncomfortable. But you should remind her throughout that she looks great and is working the camera really well. The better she feels about herself, the less she will be worried about you judging her every flaw.

A Relaxing Atmosphere:

You want the overall atmosphere to feel relaxed and non intimidating. Something as simple as turning on some music can help lighten the mood.


There are tons of different poses that you can incorporate into a boudoir session. The goal is to shoot from angles and have them pose in ways that flatter them and show off their best assets.

Shoot from above, shoot from below, shoot from behind. Switching up the angles will give you a better variety to choose from when culling your images and choosing which to put in the album as well.

Get some shots that only focus on their best features. A zoom lens will allow to you to get up close up and personal without having to actually do so.

Boudoir Photography can be intimidating for both clients and photographers because of the vulnerability it requires. But, if you come into the session with a game plan and a general idea of the personality and concerns/expectations of your client, it can run very smoothly. It usually takes a few shots to get the nerves calmed for everyone involved. But, once your client feels confident and comfortable, the mood quickly lightens.

All images courtesy of Nycolle Suabya.

Have you ever tried boudoir photography? Share in the comments below!

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